Calcutta: Problems of different magnitudes are troubling United SC and Dempo SC on the eve of their Airtel I-League match, at the Salt Lake Stadium.
While United SC are struggling to field a goalkeeper after the injuries to Sangram Mukherjee and Ishan Debnath, Dempo SC are bothered by their inexperienced line-up. Add to these, the financial woes that have dogged United SC for quite some time now. Coach Eelco Schattorie, on Monday, admitted the financial crisis could have played a part in affecting the team’s morale.
Dempo SC will also be without their top foreign recruits because of injuries — Brazilian Beto, Japanese midfielder Shinnosuke Honda and Ireland striker Billy Mehmet.
United SC are placed sixth in the standings with 17 points from 12 games, while Dempo are placed 11th, having 12 from as many matches.
“We have more points than Dempo, but we are trying to survive now… We’ve done a good job in the I-League so far… The results speak for themselves,” said Schattorie on Monday.
Bothered by the absence of a decent goalkeeper, Schattorie couldn’t hide his feelings. “I’m thinking of placing myself under the bar,” quipped the United coach.
“You always try to adjust to the conditions but you can’t do much about the goalkeeper’s slot... We will field our third goalkeeper Abhijit Das under the bar tomorrow but his height will be a problem,” he emphasised.
The United SC coach didn’t wish to read much into the absence of Beto in the rival line-up. “To me, it’s not important if Beto’s playing or not playing… I’m concerned about my team…
“Replacing a goalkeeper is a big thing… I had voiced my concern at the start of the season about the goalkeeper’s slot… We had a chance to rope in Subrata Paul but it didn’t materialise.” Schattorie also couldn’t hide his feeling on the financial irregularities surrounding the team. “We did very well till the match versus Mohun Bagan… But it has changed bit by bit since… We lacked creativity… My foreigners are not performing at their best.”